Title: North to the Future
Author: Janine
Fandom: Resident Evil (movies)
Pairing: Jill Valentine/Claire Redfield
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in the story.
Summary: When Alice left, Jill headed north in search of her. She found people that needed her and decided to stay. Claire follows Alice's advice and heads north. She finds Jill Valentine.

PART III

Epilogue

Five Months Later

Jill tipped her head back, her eyes closing momentarily as she stretched her neck out before returning her eyes to the bank of monitors in front of her. The graveyard shift had always been tedious bordering on mind-numbingly boring, but she'd been finding it even more tiresome now that she had someone waiting for her in her quarters.

Long, tapered fingers ran through Jill's short black hair, and she wondered if Claire would still be awake when she made it back to her room.

For the last month, it had really been 'their' room, but Claire hadn't officially moved in, and Jill doubted that she would for a while. They had both been on their own for a long time, and there was a sort of security in them having their own rooms, even if Claire's didn't get used very often.

Besides, Jill wasn't really ready to be a surrogate Mom and when K-Mart had her night terrors and came running for Claire, Jill was more than happy for the redhead to have a place to take the young blonde that wasn't Jill's room.

Claire had had a relaxing effect on her, but Jill still wasn't anything that approached maternal.

"Is anything good on?"

Jill smirked and swiveled around in her chair.

"Golden Girls," she deadpanned, holding Claire's dancing green eyes. "You know I'm a sucker for Bea Arthur."

Claire smiled at that and pushed away from the doorway she had comfortably been watching Jill from for the past few minutes.

"You should be in bed," Jill drawled as Claire moved towards her.

"Yes, mother," Claire sassed, rolling her eyes at her lover as she came to a stop beside her.

Reaching out, Claire swept Jill's dark bangs to the side and then leaned down, placing a gentle kiss on her forehead. She made a move to pull back then, but Jill made a faint sound of protest and lifted her hand, threading her fingers behind Claire's neck to pull her head back down so that she could taste the redhead's lips.

"You should still be in bed," Jill commented when she drew her hand back and freed Claire to stand fully once more.

"I know, I was on my way," Claire sighed, reaching out to play with Jill's bangs as she looked down at her lover. "I finally got K-Mart to sleep, but since I had to pass by this way, I thought I'd say good night."

"Is she okay?" Jill asked.

She wasn't particularly maternal, but she liked the girl well enough. She knew a lot about firearms, and she was interested in the bases defenses and military strategy, which Jill appreciated. As far as teenage girls went, K-Mart was the most tolerable kind.

"Mm," Claire hummed, her eyes drifting away for a second as she considered the brunette's question. "The nightmares are becoming less frequent, and less intense. Being here, the security of it, the consistency of routine, it's helping her. But only time will see them disappear completely, if that."

Claire sighed again, and then leaned down to press her lips against Jill's forehead once more before finally taking a step back from her lover.

"Wake me when you get in," she said, her eyes holding Jill's. She knew that her lover would be tempted to disregard the statement and let her sleep knowing that she needed the rest, but it left her faintly restless when Jill was on the graveyard shift and she never slept very well until she knew that Jill was back and safely in bed beside her.

"Yes, Ma'am," Jill replied, lifting her hand to salute the redhead.

A slow smile worked its way across Claire's lips, and she affectionately murmured, "You're such a badass," before moving towards the door.

Jill watched her for a few seconds, a small, content smile playing across her lips, and then she swiveled around in her chair once more to face the bank of monitors in front of her.

"Goodnight," Jill called, crossing her legs at the ankle as Claire's footsteps moved further away from her.

"Goodni …" Claire began to say, but her parting word was cut off by an alarm sounding as the monitors in front of Jill suddenly came alive. "What's that?" Claire asked, turning around and quickly making her way back over to her lover, who was typing quickly at the keyboard in front of her.

"Perimeter motion detectors," Jill grumbled as her hands flew over the keyboard. "We've got company."

---

Jill lifted her hand in the air, holding it steady for a moment before quickly drawing it down, giving the signal to open the gates to the compound. She heard the guards around her take the safeties off of their weapons, and as her hand dropped to rest on the sidearm at her hip, she could make out the guards lifting their weapons and readying them out of the corner of her eye.

A few seconds later the gates opened to reveal a large truck parked at the threshold, and as the hulking machine roared into motion, Jill's fingers wrapped around the hilt of her weapon and beside her she saw Claire do the same.

---

The door to the truck was flung open and a slight black woman hopped out, her eyes immediately locking on Jill who was standing slightly in front of the rest of the guards. Jill's gun was drawn and trained on the strange woman, and upon seeing it the stranger froze where she was. The strangers gaze shifted to Claire, who was standing just behind Jill, held on the redhead for a moment, and then she turned to look behind her at something in the truck.

"She is not so friendly. And her friend looks meaner."

The strangers' words were slightly accented, African, Jill thought, but she couldn't be sure.

"And to think we come bearing gifts."

The voice that emerged from within the truck was male, and a few seconds after the disembodied reply reached Jill's ears, a large figure appeared in the doorway of the truck.

Jill took the safety off of her weapon and tightened her grip on the handle.

"I told you I was the charming one," the male continued, hopping out of the truck. A roguish smile was plastered on his lips as he looked at the pretty black woman beside him. They looked at each other for another moment, and then the male angled his head to the side, directing his gaze out at Jill and the army of guards behind her.

"Oh my god."

The exhalation came from Claire, and despite herself, Jill took her eyes off of the newcomers momentarily to look at her lover as Claire stared open-mouthed at the man who had just emerged from the truck.

Claire was blinking rapidly and Jill could see tears forming in her eyes. Her muscles tensed in a moment of emotional confusion. The soldier inside of her told her to hold her position and keep her head in the game, but the woman inside of her saw the woman she loved in some sort of turmoil and wanted to reach out to her and comfort her.

However, before Jill could act, or even say a word, Claire was in motion, moving quickly towards the newcomers, her gun planted firmly back in its holster.

"Claire!" Jill called immediately. A trace of panic was event in her voice, but it was no good. Claire was running towards the man and by the time Jill jerked into motion after her, Claire had already thrown her arms around him and was being enveloped in the man's meaty arms.

"Don't worry," the newcomer female said, watching Jill as Jill looked between her and Claire and the large man with a faint look of horror on her face. "We're clean. There's no cause for concern."

Jill nodded but said nothing, her eyes still firmly planted on Claire's back. She heard what the woman was saying, but it didn't have much impact on her. She's heard people say that they were clean before. They weren't. Words meant nothing to her; it was just noise until she had a report from Dobson in her hand confirming that they were clean.

"I'm Sheva Alomar," the woman continued, drawing Jill's attention over to her once more. "And that's Chris Redfield," she went on, jerking her thumb in the direction of the large man.

Jill's eyes widened and her posture relaxed slightly as her eyes tracked over to Claire once more. She didn't like it that Claire had thrown caution to the wind and rushed her brother, not knowing for certain whether he was clean or not, but she did understand the impulse. Claire had talked to her a lot about Chris as they settled into their relationship, and she knew that the two of them were close. Claire had always maintained that her brother was alive and out there somewhere, blowing up infected scum, but Jill knew that it had to be a huge relief to see him safe and sound, that it had to be comforting to feel his chest rising and falling against her. If she hadn't seen Claire in months, let alone in years, and then the redhead suddenly materialized in front of her, she knew that she wouldn't have given a fuck either and would have gathered Claire up in her arms the first chance she got.

"Jill Valentine," Jill said, really focusing her attention on Sheva for the first time since Sheva had emerged from the truck. "How did you find us?"

Claire's group was the first they encountered since Jill had found her way to the Alaskan compound. They didn't go out of their way to hide, and they were open to expanding their ranks, but they didn't broadcast their location and the book Alice had found that led Claire's group to them had been the only one that Jill knew of.

Sheva smiled.

"We ran into a friend of yours," she began before pausing, her brow creasing a little in thought. "More than one of them actually," she continued causing Jill to lift a dark eyebrow at her. How mysterious.

"Does this friend have a name?" Jill inquired, thinking darkly that all of the few friends she'd had out in the world were long dead.

"Alice."

The response came from Chris and Jill looked over at him to find him standing with his arm now loosely draped around Claire's shoulder as the redhead stared up at him. At that however, Claire looked away from her brother and over towards Jill, a large smile spreading across her face as she did.

Alice, Jill thought, turning the name over in her mind. Of course, it was Alice.

"She said you had facilities up here that could make good use of this," Chris continued, reaching into his pocket to remove a small vial.

"What is it?" Jill asked moving closer, holstering her weapon as she walked. There was no point in pretending that she was going to shoot her girlfriends brother if he looked at her the wrong way. Claire would never let her hear the end of it if she so much as winged him.

When she reached Chris, Claire moved out from under his arm and moved to stand beside Jill, slipping her hand into Jill's pointedly as the brunette leaned forward to get a better look at the vile in Chris's hand.

In her previous life, when she was still a rapidly rising member of S.T.A.R.S. Jill never would have allowed for such familiarity on the clock, but there was no need to keep up appearances these days. Everyone on the compound knew about her relationship with Claire, and she had loosened up enough over the past few months that most of the guards around her felt friendly enough to jokingly refer to her as "Mrs. Redfield" when they weren't running drills.

Chris looked between the two of them as Jill squinted at the small bottle in his hand, and then looked over at his sister and raised an eyebrow.

Claire smirked and shrugged as if to say, 'So what, this time, I got the girl,' and Chris smirked and nodded his head, turning Claire's silent look with a silent, 'Way to go, champ. Way to go'.

"Alice's blood," Sheva said, not missing the exchange between the Redfield's or Jill and Claire, but not particularly caring either. "You know, she's bonded with the T-virus at the molecular level. Well, it seems that the blood in that vial, Alice's blood, can be used to synthesize an antidote, or possibly even a cure."

"A cure," Jill murmured softly. "Well, she's just full of surprises," she continued, drawing back now that she knew what she was looking at.

Jill looked between Sheva and Chris for a moment, and then sighed.

"As you can see, the compound is made up of the main campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. When news of the virus first started spreading, the students and most of the staff panicked and ran … most of them, right into hot zones. Those that stayed recognized the … utility of the location and modifications were made for defensive purposes," Jill continued, gesturing vaguely at the gates that had been erected to protect to the dorms and the main mess hall. "The science labs are in working condition, though we've redirected power away from them towards more vital systems. Power and equipment won't be a problem, and we have medical staff, but we're a little short on molecular biologists."

"All we need is the equipment," Chris replied, relieved to hear that the labs hadn't been torn apart for scraps. "We brought our own doctor."

With that he turned around and walked the small distance back to the truck. He disappeared inside for a moment and then reappeared, dragging a distinctly unhappy looking woman out behind him.

"Dr. Annette Birkin," Chris said, tossing the doctor forward.

"Charmed, I'm sure," Jill drawled not even really looking at the woman.

She'd come across the name when she and Carlos were researching Umbrella, looking for a way into the corporation so that they could rescue Alice. Annette Birkin was one of the terribly clever scientists that had helped to destroy the world. They needed her at the moment, but it didn't stop Jill from wanting to pistol whip her.

"How many more of you are there?" Jill asked looking between Sheva and Chris.

The guards had followed her lead and lowered their weapons. It was late, and there was no point in them standing around the quad in the middle of the night like it was Frosh week. She needed to wrap things up out here, and get her men back into bed and the newcomers into quarantine. They could share their hopes and dreams with each other later.

"Six," Sheva replied. "Her daughter and a few strays we found on the way up here."

Jill nodded once.

"Fine, let's get you all checked out and cleaned up."

---

"So, that's Chris," Jill said softly, her eyes on the Sheva, Chris and the rest of their group as Rufus led them towards the main building.

"Be nice," Claire whispered looping her arm through Jill's as they began to walk, trailing behind the larger group for privacy.

"I'm always nice," Jill replied with a straight face, her body relaxing as the warmth from Claire's body seeped into her side.

Claire laughed at that, and Jill couldn't be offended. They both knew that at first she was rarely nice, at least to anyone who weren't named Claire Redfield. She'd loosened up a bit over the past few months, but she could still be a high-riding bitch, and was often aloof with others at best. It was just her way.

Cool fingers brushed against her cheek, and Jill turned her head to the side, holding Claire's eyes fondly for a moment before Claire leaned in and kissed her lightly on the lips. It wasn't really the time to indulge, but Jill was contemplating brushing her lips chastely against Claire's in return when she noticed a figure fall back from the group up ahead and sighed.

"Nice," Claire murmured, having noticed her brother break away from the group up ahead as well.

"You know, it occurs to me that we weren't properly introduced. Chris Redfield," the large man said, holding out his hand as he reached the two women. "And you are?"

Jill sighed woefully, but tried to control the urge to glare at him balefully for Claire's sake.

"I'm sure you heard me earlier," she replied.

Chris smiled at that and turned to glance at Claire, who leaned into Jill and whispered in her ear.

"Jill Valentine," Jill said, giving into the urge to glare as Chris shot her an amused look, no doubt realizing that Claire had shamed her into answering.

"Nice to meet you, Jill," he said offering his hand to Jill and giving it a firm shake when she extended hers and grasped his strongly.

They shook hands and then Jill drew hers back, looking miserable. She'd thought that she would be able to avoid in-laws.

The three of them walked in silence for a few seconds before Chris looked down at Jill's hip and whistled.

"Nice gun," he murmured appreciatively.

Jill felt herself warm up to him somewhat at this comment. It was a nice gun and she liked talking about it.

"Yes, it is," she agreed offering him a small smile though she didn't offer to show it to him.

Chris released a puff of air, and turned to look at his sister, murmuring, "Tough crowd".

Claire grinned at him and shrugged. She couldn't really say that Jill was more bark than bite. Honestly, her lover had a pretty impressive and vicious bite. But Chris wasn't exactly a shrinking violet himself and Claire knew that he could handle Jill giving him the cold shoulder for a while. Chris was intelligent, capable, and extremely experienced and once Jill got a chance to know him, Claire was sure that they would get along fine. Jill liked competence and responded well to people who could use the NATO phonetic without a second thought. She and Chris would be pals soon enough.

"I had a P99 in Africa," Chris continued, trying again.

"What happened to it?" Jill asked, being drawn into conversation despite herself as they entered the building.

"When it ran out of bullets, Sheva used the handle to beat in the head of an infected. It's buried in some corpse's brain cavity now," Chris sighed. He'd really liked that gun.

"You should have taken it back," Jill said a little disparagingly. You never left a gun behind. Never.

Chris sighed again. "It was really wedged in there. Sheva hits pretty hard."

Jill smirked. She was going to have to talk to Sheva when she got out of quarantine.

---

Claire moaned softly, and stretched her limbs out as she felt Jill's arms wrap around her and her lover's lips press against her shoulder. After handing Chris and the rest of his group over to Dr. Dobson to examine, Jill, in typical Valentine fashion, had returned to finish the rest of her watch. Claire had stayed in quarantine for awhile after Jill had left not quite ready to leave Chris. However, when she'd started to yawn every few seconds and collapsed against his side with her head resting on his shoulder, he'd shooed her away to bed.

She wasn't sure that she'd be able to sleep, but almost as soon as her head had hit the pillow, she'd fallen into an exhausted slumber. She felt like she'd only been asleep for minutes, but she didn't mind being woken up. She wanted to see Jill, and she was glad that the other woman had remembered her promise.

"How'd it go?" Jill asked, as Claire shifted in her arms so that they were face to face and then snuggled against her front.

"Everyone checked out was fine by the time I left. A few of the people they picked up were in pretty rough condition. Susanne has them on I.V. drips now, and she wants to keep them under observation for a few days, but there are no serious injuries," Claire sighed, brushing her lips lightly against Jill's.

"Chris?" Jill asked, relaxing into the bedding as Claire's hand slipped under her tank top to nestle against warmth of her stomach.

"He and Sheva hadn't been checked when I left," Claire murmured. "But they're fine," she continued, without a hint of doubt in her voice. "If either of them thought there was even the slightest possibility they were infected they never would have come near this place."

Jill tilted her head to the side and accepted Claire's lips as they brushed against hers again, her heart picking up speed as Claire's hands began to crawl a little higher under her shirt.

"Nothing to say to that?" Claire asked surprised.

She loved Jill with all that she was, but her lover could be a stick in mud sometimes and she had prepared herself for a full level Valentine dressing down about her reckless behavior earlier, and a comment on two about how no one was clear until the blood work came back.

"No," Jill breathed out, shifting a little under Claire's roaming hand. She didn't know Chris Redfield from Adam, but she trusted Claire's judgment.

"Are you going to tell me, I shouldn't have run to him?" Claire inquired curiously, brushing her lips against Jill's neck.

"No," Jill replied breathily.

"Why?" Claire asked curiously, pulling back from her manual assault momentarily.

"Because if we had been parted and I'd suddenly found you again, nothing could have kept me from you."

Jill's voice was whisper soft, but Claire heard her response and her heart clenched powerfully at the emotion behind the softly spoken words. Jill wasn't one for poetically worded romantic declarations. She showed Claire how she felt about her through soft touches and small gestures. When Claire spoke, Jill directed her full attention to her, when Claire was about to leave their room in the morning, Jill brushed her fingers gently against her hand and kissed her cheek. Jill was a woman of action, and her actions spoke loudly to Claire. But every now and again, it was nice to hear words.

Claire leaned down and pressed her lips against Jill's, kissing her deeply, pouring everything that she felt for the other woman into her touch, knowing that Jill needed action from her, not words. The brunette's heart was on her sleeve at the moment, and more talk would only serve to embarrass her, and send her retreating into herself in search of that emotional distance she used to shield herself from others.

"Jill?" Claire panted long moments later as she stared down at Jill with slick, kiss swollen lips.

"Mm," Jill hummed, chewing on her bottom lip as she stared up at Claire with happy eyes.

"I'm going to take your clothes off now."

Jill smiled and arched up, pressing her lips against Claire's once more. She liked that plan of action.

The End